Confessions of a Delegate. As commentators, political junkies, your next door neighbor and just about everyone speculates about the number of delegates garnered by candidates in the 2016 primary race, I thought it was time to actually talk to one of the delegates to a past convention to get an idea of what it’s like. Thus, Confessions of a Delegate. Mark Johnson was a republican activist supporting Texas Congressman Ron Paul for president in 2012. Johnson was part of the storied Minnesota Delegation, one of five state delegations pledged to support Paul. We’ve all seen the shots on TV from the convention floor. What was it really like to be on the floor at the convention? What was it like to experience the power of the establishment first hand, a republican establishment bound and determined not to allow the Texas Representative a chance to speak to the convention or have his name entered into nomination from the floor. What did the establishment do? They changed the rules before the convention (the now famous rule 40b) and prevented a so called ‘minority report’ on the rules committee from being entered into consideration and voted on, making sure Minority Report author Morton Blackwell’s bus didn’t make it to the convention in time for the vote. The establishment also disqualified the Maine delegation and replaced them with Romney supporters. Why is this important. This fight is nothing compared to what could happen if none of the candidates reach Cleveland with enough delegates pledged to them to achieve a nomination on the first ballot, an outcome which appears more and more likely, an outcome all three remaining candidacies appear to be preparing for. Now ‘retired for the time being’ Johnson talks about his experience and has some advice for the delegates elected to their conventions in 2016. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate. (Editor’s note; At one point I refer to what happens when delegates get to ‘Tampa’, since we were talking about Tampa and 2012. I meant to say Cleveland, where the GOP convention will be held in 2016.)
Political Depression. To close out March, 2016 after a quick review of this week’s headlines, one can only conclude we’re in a Political Depression. It’s depressing to read about and depressing to talk about. Yet, there are compelling developments to talk about. On the heels of the Marco Rubio announcement that he will not release ‘his’ delegates to the RNC on the first ballot, and a letter from a North Dakota Republican National Convention Official which states that the delegates are not bound, even on the first ballot, the time has come once again to remind listeners and voters you have not been caucusing and voting for presidential candidates for 2016. The people who will choose the 2016 nominee are the delegates to the national convention, chosen by congressional district. So, in Minnesota if you left the caucus after casting your straw poll votes, and did not get a chance to go to the BPOU convention, and then onto the congressional district convention where you might have been chosen as a delegate to the RNC, you were wasting your time. In fact, people voting in the primary elections on both sides of the political spectrum appear to have been wasting their time, since both party ‘establishment’ structures have taken pains to point out the delegates choose the candidates, and the party bosses have that well in hand. Are we going to be saying hello to a Bush running against a Clinton, or a retreat of 2012 for the RNC, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan? The next waypoint in this process will be when we get to the end of the primary and caucus process which ends sometime around June. If Ted Cruz or Donald Trump do not get the required number of 1237 delegates – enough to win a vote on the first ballot – the convention will be thrown into chaos. What does the Republican Party stand for? Once the general election gets underway, its going to become quite clear how much damage this cycle’s primary season has done to the republican party. What about the future? What do republicans stand for? Are they free trade or protectionist? Big government or limited government? Driven by religion, or open minded? Will republicans give up and just allow party officials to dictate to them who to vote for, or will they finally start working on on building a real grassroots political movement? Time will tell. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul, X Government Cars and Pride of Homes Real Estate.
Ted Cruz Denies Affairs. The tabloid that has a history of breaking lurid stories about the affairs of politicians and public personalities is on the hot seat with a new story about Senator Ted Cruz. The National Enquirer story alleges the presidential hopeful has had extra marital affairs with five women. Though the women’s faces were obscured in the tabloid story, two of the women have been allegedly identified as staffers for Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and at various times Senator Cruz. Moreover there’s also evidence of a Cruz associated PAC which donated a half a million dollars to the Fiorina campaign. If that donation was ‘hush money’ as has been alleged, a far more serious allegation could be leveled against Cruz since the candidates aren’t supposed to have anything to do with PACs. Ted Cruz Denies Affairs. Senator Cruz says the story is a lie, says it was shopped to other outlets, all orchestrated by Donald Trump, since he is ‘friends’ with the publisher of the National Enquirer (based in West Palm Beach, by the way, where Trump has a residence and resort.) Trump says he had nothing to do with the story. Truth is, this ‘story’ has been floating around political and reporters circles for months, and has been talked about on twitter under #thething for at least weeks. Is it true? No one knows. Was it Trump? No one knows. It could have been Trump, but recent developments suggest former elements of the Rubio campaign shopped the story. Could have been Republican establishment types terrified of a Trump nomination, as well as a Cruz nomination, looking to clip both candidates before three critical primaries in the coming weeks in Wisconsin, New York and Pennsylvania. It could have been the Cruz campaign looking to get out in front of a potential scandal and turn it back on their number one rival, the Trump campaign. No one knows, and no one will know until the story is disproven, retracted, or the women in question come forward. At least one of them, Amanda Carpenter, passionately and vehemently denies it. Don’t put it past the establishment to do something like this. Politics gets ugly, and there are so many more months of campaigning to go. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul, Pride of Homes and Hydrus.